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As the number of urgent care facilities and retail clinics goes up, visits to the emergency room go down, according to the 2015 Cost Trends Report from the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. The number of urgent care facilities in the commonwealth grew eightfold between 2008 and 2015, the report says. The report noted a 30 percent drop in ED use when there’s a “convenient care” facility nearby. Meanwhile, the Center for Health Information and Analysis issued a new report saying that one out of five Massachusetts residents had difficulty getting a timely appointment with a doctor. Such complaints, typically, drive patients to seek immediate care in the urgent care setting (or, often unnecessarily, in the ED).

More Urgent Care Options = Lower ED Use in Massachusetts